Part 5 of my Clean Your Home Naturally (without Toxic Chemicals) series – How To Deodorize Your Carpet Naturally + BONUS DIY Spot Cleaning Recipe!
I’ve mentioned before that I have 5 dogs… 5 mostly inside, spoiled, rotten dogs. In addition to breeding mutant size dust bunnies, having this many dogs in the house means my area rug gets dirty… really, really dirty. And quite frankly, it smells like dog. Not only is there enough dog hair shed that I could stitch together a sixth dog, but dogs are gross and eat things they shouldn’t which frequently results in upset tummies and try as I might I cannot convince them to hoark it up on the hardwood where it would be much, much easier to clean. Hence the inspiration for today’s post.
Several years ago I spent my tax return on a Dyson DC25 Animal Upright Vacuum Cleaner (that’s when I knew I was officially an “adult” spending my tax return on responsible things) because I knew that I would always be accompanied by a dog pack (back then it was only 3). And I absolutely LOVE my vacuum cleaner. But as anyone with a lot of dogs knows that even with the best vacuum cleaner starts to smell like dog eventually. So when I was researching all natural cleaning tricks and recipes and stumbled upon Life As Mom’s All Natural Carpet Deodorizer I knew I had to give it a shot! I was quite pleased with the results. Not only did it freshen my carpet but made the house smell good while I cleaned and my vacuum smells much better too! (For another bonus recipe head on over to Life As Mom’s original blog, linked below, to get an air freshener variation!)
All Natural Carpet Deodorizer
- Glass jar with lid
- 1 cup Baking Soda
- 10-20 drops of Lemon essential oil
Combine Baking Soda and essential oil in glass jar. Screw lid on and shake well to evenly distribute the oils. Gently shake, liberally covering your carpet or area rug. Let sit for 30 minutes or more before vacuuming up.
* The original recipe called for 1/2 cup Baking Soda and she said it would cover a 5×8′ area rug. I doubled the recipe and honestly could have added a bit more to better cover my 8×12′ rug.
Shortly after I got my rug all cleaned and I was sitting back enjoying my hard work, one of my lovely dogs decided that they would hoark up the grass they had eaten earlier that day… Yummy! Historically we had just used Woolite Carpet Stain and Odor Remover, Pet + Oxygen (which I’m sad to say scored an F on EWG for containing surfactants, hexoxyethanol, acrylates copolymer, and artificial fragrance – yuck!) but since I had been keep with an all natural cleaning routine I figured I could find a better way to clean this spot up without the toxic chemicals. After a brief search I stumbled upon The Prairie Homestead’s blog and recipe for an all natural carpet cleaner. The author also had dogs with similarly disgusting behaviors so I thought it would be the best place to start. It worked surprisingly well. What I can tell you is though, make sure to start with LESS baking soda than I picture below. I used way too much and it took several tries of spraying the vinegar:water solution to get it all out. If you use too much, you’ll know because it will make a white spot on your carpet (which by all accounts is better than dog vomit but still irritating).
DIY Spot Cleaner
- Baking Soda
- Lemon essential oil (optional)
- Distilled White Vinegar (DWV)
- Towel or rag
- Combine Baking Soda and a couple drops of your Lemon essential oil (you can use some of what you mixed up for the carpet deodorizer) and shake well to distribute the oils.
- Sprinkle* Baking Soda mixture on spot and let sit for at least 1 hour to overnight. *Sprinkle being the operative word – I used WAY too much in this pic! (you want just enough to absorb any liquid)
- Mix a 1:1 ratio of DWV to Water in a spray bottle.
- Generously spray Vinegar:Water mixture on Baking Soda allowing it to fizz
- Cover the spot with your towel or rag and press to absorb moisture. As the original author points out it is not advised that you scrub the carpet as this could damage the fibers. I’ll be honest, I scrubbed it… a lot! It didn’t seem to damage my carpet. But proceed with caution.
- Repeat if necessary (or if you didn’t heed my wisdom and used too much Baking Soda, repeat the spray mixture until it stops fizzing. I promise you will eventually get all the Baking Soda out!)
Have you tried either of the above recipes or do you have another preferred all natural method of cleaning your carpet? I’d love to hear it! Comment below to keep the conversation going!
Did you miss Parts 1-4 of my Clean Your Home Naturally Series? Find them below: